The Philippine government has backtracked on its stance on gaming, withdrawing an earlier move to revoke the licenses for electronic bingo games or eBingo.
The Philippines.- The government has backtracked on its stance on gaming, withdrawing an earlier move to revoke the licenses for electronic bingo games or eBingo. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said it would no longer revoke the licenses of eBingo entities located inside malls, arcades and hotels even if they are near schools or churches, even though it has ordered bingo operators within 200 meters away from schools and churches to close shop.
Then in Sept 24 in a notice sent to eBingo operator AB Leisure Exponent Inc. (ABLE), Pagcor said entities located inside malls, arcades and hotels will now be considered exempt from the distance requirement. ABLE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC), a listed gaming company founded by businessman and now Negros Occ. Rep. Alberto “Albee” Benitez. Pagcor’s board of directors approved the exemption and now 20 eBingo sites have resumed operations.
“The approval was based on the recommendation of Pagcor’s Gaming Licensing and Development Department (GLDD) and the legal opinion of its Corporate and Legal Services Department (CLSD) to honor the licenses of operators whose gaming sites are located inside malls, arcades and hotels and consider them exempted from distance requirements,” said Pagcor in its letter to ABLE.
What is more, Pagcor said its board allowed the resumption of eBingo operations until the respective expiration of the licenses of the sites. The gaming regulator added it is still studying whether it would permanently maintain the exemption of malls, arcades and hotels from the distance requirements. Prior to this, Pagcor revoked the licenses of 120 non-compliant eBingo sites for violating distance restriction guidelines.